- Jun 5, 2006Control of illegal long liners in the enormous ocean
territory around Tristan is beyond the financial
capabilities of this small community. The conservation
of Tristan's vast natural resources is an international
problem requiring international funding. These
magnificent birds are not the property of governments
of the islands where they happen to nest or feed. They
belong to all of us and their management and protection
is the responsibility of all of us. Accordingly,
publicity such as the article below is of vital
5 June 2006
Fishing line deaths sink albatross
By Lewis Smith
Observations have shown that three species of albatross are declining at an alarming rate. Research by the RSPB and BirdLife
International, which are running a Save the Albatross campaign, also suggests that one is killed by long-line fishing every
Research on South Georgia, a UK Overseas Territory, shows that the birds have slumped by a third in little more than 20
years. The wandering albatross is the worst affected but its rate of decline is closely followed by the black-browed and
grey-headed albatrosses. Unless this is reversed, or at least halted, the wandering albatross will be extinct on South
Georgia, one of its most important breeding grounds, in as little as 20 years.
Long-line fishing, where lines up to 80 miles long have thousands of baited hooks, is thought to kill 100,000 a year. If the
hooks do not sink, the birds, attracted by the bait, get snagged on them and drown.
Ben Sullivan, of the RSPB, said: “The decline of albatrosses on South Georgia mirrors declines from other South Atlantic UK
Overseas Territories, especially the Falklands.”
Copyright 2006 Times Newspapers Ltd.